Photo:

Steven Kiddle

Thanks everyone - i've created a facebook group if you have anymore questions to ask me: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=138389616171403&v=wall

Favourite Thing: Find a new way of looking at a problem that allows you to understand it

My CV

School:

Sidcot School 1997-2004

University:

Warwick University (BSc in Maths) 2004-2007

Work History:

Wookey Hole Caves gift shop as a summer job

Employer:

Warwick University (MSc + PhD in Systems Biology) 2007-

Current Job:

PhD Student

Me and my work

Hi, im Steve and I study how plants defend themselves from disease using their genes

I use maths and biology to study plant genes. The aim is to understand how plants fight disease by learning which genes control which other genes when a plant is being attacked.

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I use computers to make predictions from data and test these in the lab using biology.

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Progress could lead to new ways to stop plants from dying from disease, which could mean less food being destroyed in the fields. I also play drums in a band in london called Panda Party.

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My Typical Day

a meeting, look after plants, work at computer, think at a blackboard, do lab work

I wake up at 8am and get into the office for 9am, check some emails, sometimes I’ll go to a meeting of biologists/mathematicians. My days are very varied, sometimes I program computers for a whole day, other times i’ll be in the lab or sowing seeds to grow plants, but usually a little bit of everything!

What I'd do with the money

Give talks at schools about science and interdisciplinary research

At school science is taught as a bunch of facts to memorise, i’d like to give talks at schools about how these facts were discovered, through guesswork, mistakes and eventually by repeatable experiments and how these discoveries have already improved or saved lives. I would also like to show that scientists aren’t all mad with crazy white hair! And that even great scientists made many mistakes. The key to is to be curious, to ask stupid questions and to think for yourself.

Finally, i would like to explain that research is changing, moving towards people who study different subjects working together. For example, i trained in maths and now work in biology, and I work with biologists, chemists, mathematicians, physicists and computer scientists. I would like to explain why this is important and how such work could change the world in the future.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

curious lively friendly

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Its a hard one, i love too many bands, but its got to be Jimi Hendrix

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Been up the empire state building in new york!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

that lab work would work! Play a big music festival. Not to have to wash up ever!

What did you want to be after you left school?

i had no idea

Were you ever in trouble at school?

i got a detention for bad behaviour on a coach trip, it was really boring

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Developed a new method for predicting gene regulation and published a paper on my work

Tell us a joke.

Why did the scarecrow get a nobel prize? He was outstanding in his field